Dillon Brooks caused a stir in the Oregon Ducks' 82-68 win over the Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 on Thursday after draining a three-pointer in garbage time with the victory seemingly in hand already.
Brooks said that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski had a word with the star sophomore in the handshake line about his antics, per Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com.
But on Friday, during an interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Oregon head coach Dana Altman said he told Brooks to take the shot:
That was my fault. There was a difference of about six or seven seconds on the shot clock, and [Brooks] was 30 feet from the basket. I just told him to shoot it so we wouldn’t have a turnover. I didn’t think he’d hit it. … So if anybody is upset, they should be upset with me—not Dillon Brooks. They should be upset with me because he did exactly what I told him to do. I just didn’t think he’d make it. So the fuss should be about me telling him to shoot the ball.
Here is Altman’s full response on The Herd:
Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd
"That was my fault. I told him to shoot it." Oregon coach Dana Altman on Dillon Brooks/Coach K controversy #TheHerd https://t.co/3hwrUhgg0P2016-3-25 18:50:08
With the game winding down and three seconds remaining on the shot clock, Brooks heaved a three-pointer from roughly 35 feet away that pushed the Ducks' lead to 82-68:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Not to be outdone, Oregon's Dillon Brooks also puts the final touch on his team's win #MarchMadness https://t.co/6cWGpStwcf2016-3-25 04:24:22
At the time, many perceived it to be a showboating move. Brooks said Krzyzewski even said as much when they shook hands after the buzzer sounded. "He just told me that I’m too good of a player to be showing out at the end. And he’s right. I’ve got to respect Duke,” Brooks said, per Josh Peter of USA Today.
However, the five-time national champion head coach vehemently denied Brooks’ account, per Fox Sports:
FOX Sports @FOXSports
Did Coach K lecture Oregon's Dillon Brooks on sportsmanship? The two have very different stories. https://t.co/u2vU2VeumZ2016-3-25 18:23:23
Who said what isn’t a huge deal, as the top-seeded Ducks are moving on and are just one win away from their first trip to the Final Four in 77 years.
But Altman clearing the air and taking the blame after the dust settled is a respectable move by a coach who's trying to divert the attention from his player before it becomes a distraction.